Radical Idea

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trig's mom

Feb 10, 2007, 9:32:25 AM2/10/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
I have a really Radical Idea, bear with me now,
I think the problem with the Sheepfold is how 'in your face' the dog
group up there is. What if the actual gathering of dogs was anywhere
other than twenty feet from the parking lot? Just on the other side
of the soap box track, or on the other side of that quagmire. There
is a wonderful clearing in the woods, by the old fountain. There is
already several trail braids going through this area. The trees will
block the wind and make it less cold for you and your dog. it also
won't beacome a slanted sheet of ice. It is less than 200 paces from
where people seem to be standing around now. In the spring when the
quag is thawed perhaps moving to the end of the soap box track, you
This would also give bikers and hikers and families a chance to get
into the woods without going through a wall of dogs. Also the
illusion from the parking lot would seem there were no dogs at all.

Michele, I tried for some time many years ago to get people to do
this, unsuccessfully. Perhaps you can accomplish this feat.
Just a suggestion


Feb 12, 2007, 8:38:50 AM2/12/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
I fully understand that some people may think the dog group at the
Fells is "in your face" but do not think it is anymore so than, say,
the groups of bikers that travel through the open area or the people
waiting for hook ups in the back parking lot. (We've all seen

The great thing about the Fells is that the dogs are given a large
open area to run free and play. Fenced in parks in the area are not
big enough, always filled with dirt or mulch, and are the cause of
many a disagreement between dogs and/or their owners.

I know that the matter of dogs at the Fells is a huge issue for many
and has been an issue for quite some time. The way I look at it is
the humans in the area have many places to hike, bike, whatever.
There are very few places for our dogs. Is it so much to ask that we
have a place where our dogs can run free? There will never be an area
that is poop free with perfect dogs. It just won't happen. But then
again, how often do you find people littering and acting inconsiderate
towards others in the same area? Need I say more?

If we all do our best to pick up after our dogs and to maintain peace
in the park by training our animals we can make the Fells a great
place for all. I just don't understand why this is such a huge


Feb 12, 2007, 8:56:11 AM2/12/07
to Fell...@googlegroups.com
Just a reminder as we gear up for our meeting with Richard Stewart
and his DCR colleagues tomorrow evening: Sheepfold is a great place
for HUMAN, tax-paying, voting citizens who own dogs. "Dog parks"
are for PEOPLE.

No one is campaigning to designate public open space for dogs. We
are campaining for legal access to public open space for people who
are currently under-served by our parks in the Commonwealth.

trig's mom

Feb 16, 2007, 7:48:03 AM2/16/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
It's unfortunate that this area is not only a public park, it is STATE
CONSERVATION LAND, The problem with the poop run-off is not a
drinking water concern as much as it will kill frogs and fish and
plants. We pay taxes to conserve this land as is...I'm sure you have
all been down to that fence in the spring and summer... have you seen
the giant ferns and skunk cabbage that grow down there... the salamder
and the lady slippers(which are federally protected)... that is what
your paying for. it's true as dog onwers we are under served but the
sheepfold is the ONLY open space in the fells...
Hikers and bikers both have restrictions dogs do too. 7 ft of
Being responsible and cleaning up after anyone who is not is a good
start... on a daily basis... just vow to never again walk over or past
a poop on your way out just pick it up.

Leave it better that you found it- that's the girl scout way

On Feb 12, 8:56 am, somervilledog <canisma...@somervilledog.com>

Message has been deleted

Cori Couture

Feb 16, 2007, 2:27:46 PM2/16/07
to Fell...@googlegroups.com

Thanks for your clear and well-written description of the meeting. I wasn't able to come and appreciate you taking the time to write up your impressions.


On 2/16/07, s1702 <samor...@comcast.net> wrote:

I thought I'd post my thoughts on the meeting, mostly for those who
weren't there.  Just my personal impressions.

In response to Kristy's postings - she kept standing up repeatedly in
the meeting, speaking over others who never got the chance to speak
once.  Even though she apparently has not been to the Sheepfold or
used it in 5 years.  Another woman at the meeting told me that Kristy
has a business walking dogs elsewhere in the Fells every day, so
perhaps she is trying to deflect attention, hoping that activity won't
get regulated, I'm not really sure.  But I for one didn't appreciate
people bringing up negative aspects of dog access (e.g. runoff) at a
meeting where we're asking for more dog access.  DCR said they are
working on developing a permitting system for business owners (dog
walkers) using state parks.

Anyway, other highlights:

- The DCR gave us a lot of info on the current situation.  The current
rules are that dogs are allowed everywhere in the Fells on-leash, and
they're not allowed to be off leash anywhere in the Fells.   Right
now, the DCR oversees the Fells, but apparently does not have the
authority to start ticketing people for off-leash violations.  At some
point in the future (sounded like 1-2 years), they will get that
authority and plan to start enforcement, which probably means someone
posted at Sheepfold handing out tickets until people stop coming.
That was the bad news.  The good news is that they're trying to avoid
a bad situation by pro-actively creating a new dog park somewhere else
in the Fells.

They said they didn't know that 1/2-1 acre was too small. They said
they would go back to the drawing board to find another spot in the
Fells with a size more similar to the Sheepfold (which is 7-10
acres).  They said they won't consider fencing a part of the Sheepfold
off.  The reasons given were that it's supposed to be used for other
activity (the droves of picknickers and frisbee players who supposedly
will throng there once the dogs are gone).  Also, they said they've
checked the field where the dogs play and there is an unacceptable
amount of waste there.  They're worried about the runoff from waste
going into the Winchester reservoirs.   However, there is no evidence
that runoff has been a problem, no one has investigated this and taken
measurements or samples or anything.  Personally, I suspect that the
buffer of trees & vegetation between the field and the water is
sufficient to filter out any bacteria, but no one will know until
scientists go out there and check it.  There are standards and ways to
evaluate this, animal waste runoff from fields near water is a common
issue, as anyone who spends time in Vermont knows.

- Most of the comments from dog owners stressed the value of a
community of users actually using public space together.  Many people
pointed out the successful dog parks in other cities, including the
Boston area.  Many said that the way to address problems at the
Sheepfold with waste and out-of-control dogs was to fence in the park
and increase education and self-enforcement.

- The executive director of Friends of the Fells spoke at length, I
found it somewhat threatening and disturbing.  He first said that his
group could fill rooms with people too, if they wanted.  He stressed
the ecological value of the Fells, and talked of how rare it was to
have that large of a reserve near a big city (I thought to myself,
Blue Hills is 3 times bigger).  He mentioned how dogs running off
leash in the woods will completely clean out voles, moles, etc, the
critters that foxes and fishers eat.  I wanted to point out that
Sheepfold is 8 acres out of 2,650, and that creating a dog park will
take dogs out of the woods, but I didn't get a chance.

-  Also, on the trash barrels, DCR said they can't really put barrels
all over the field, because they need to get a truck to the barrels,
and they can't bring trucks on the field when it's muddy.  They also
said the ranger was threatened by dogs and an owner that refused to
leash his dog.  DCR also said when they put more barrels out, people
fill them with household trash.  People pointed out the fact that
volunteers completely cleaned the field in one weekend, and that an
official dog park would help volunteers organize & maintain the

Overall, I thought the tone of the DCR people was better than I
thought it would be.   They seemed eager to listen to our suggestions,
and had a good attitude about working with dog owners more closely in
the future.  They wanted to know if people would go to a new dog park,
we said yes.  They seemed open to investigating other dogs parks more,
inlucluding even driving to Portland, Maine.  I thought their offer to
find another site was very encouraging.  At this point, the best case
scenario would be that they find another 5+ acre site in the Fells and
create a dog park, it works and everyone goes there instead of
Sheepfold.  The worst case scenario would be that they can't or won't
find another adequate site.  But I was encouraged by their attitude at
the meeting.  They were very patient with an unruly crowd.

Hopefully others will jump in if I got anything wrong, or overstated
my opinions.



Feb 16, 2007, 10:34:26 PM2/16/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group

Thanks for going to the effort to write that description of events. I
was there and I believe you did a good job of describing the
highlights. One thing I would add-- it was pointed out that if people
have actually thrown household trash in the barrels at the Sheepfold,
you can combat that by getting the barrels with a small opening at the
top-- used at other dog parks.

I too take issue with the lengthy comments of the gentleman from the
Friends of the Fells. For one thing-- we all know they are close
partners with DCR. I thought this meeting was supposed to be an
opportunity for dog owners to finally make their voices heard, wasn't
it? His presence was almost designed to try to quell our discussion.
And many of his comments were disingenuous. Such as asking if we all
mean we would be willing to build our own fence to create a dog park,
and describing how the Friends get matching funds for their pet
projects. Perhaps their demographic is skewed more toward the
wealthy, with the ability to contribute and to solicit others to
contribute. The dog owners come from all walks of life, and are
already paying the taxes that are supposed to keep our parks in shape
for our enjoyment! And the comment about filling the room with his
Friends members as well? I don't doubt it. Just as they would
probably fill the room to discuss saving the Brazilian rainforest.
But how many of them are USING THE SHEEPFOLD?? I am sure that on
this sunny weekend ahead there will be hundreds of us with our dogs
frolicking in the snow, ENJOYING NATURE. And will there be five or
ten members of the Friends? Don't get me wrong-- I respect the
Friends as an organization doing important work for this great
resource for many years. But it seems clear that they would deny us
and our lovable dogs the opportunity to enjoy this public resource, so
that the foxes can have it all to themselves.

> > > are currently under-served by our parks in the Commonwealth.- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

J. Alain Ferry - BostonDOG

Feb 17, 2007, 4:12:11 PM2/17/07
to Fell...@googlegroups.com
I was unable to attend on Tuesday evening and appreciate those of you who
have taken the time to summarize what was discussed.

Does anyone know if "the gentleman from the Friends of the Fells" was
Michael Arnott or was it Mike Ryan? Michael Arnott was at the Partners in
Parks "dog meeting" a few weeks back and came with two women that are also
FOF members. All three of them were clearly against allowing dogs off-leash
in the Fells. It would be a big disappointment if the FOF Executive
Director is also in opposition.



Feb 18, 2007, 6:33:23 PM2/18/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
.Hi Alain

I'm pretty sure the FOF rep was Mike Ryan.

He talked a lot about the natural eco system of the fells. Its
unfortunate because I think he blames the dogs and people for the
abandonment of the fells by some wildlife like foxes and coyotes. I'm
not an expert on animals but doesn't it make sense that urban
development and the creation of route 93 in the sixties, had more to
do with the displacement of coyotes and foxes then our dogs


On Feb 17, 4:12 pm, "J. Alain Ferry - BostonDOG" <a...@bostondog.org>

> > - Show quoted text -- Hide quoted text -

trig's mom

Feb 18, 2007, 7:26:28 PM2/18/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
I'm wondering how if you heard me interrupting repeatedly why you
didn't hear me say that I was a dogwalker and in my other post when I
mention I'm a small local business walking two groups of six dogs a
Why is it so obsence that a dog walker could but an evironmentalist as
well? The reason I was at the meeting was to make sure that as a
permitted dog walker I would not be required to walk at the sheepfold,
not deflect attention, I'm first in line for the permit and I was
asked to attend the meeting by FOF, they know what kind of walker I
I walk all over the fells and I clean up not only my share but every
single poop I pass... I decided a long time ago that if people cared
so little about my treasure of a spot...I could care enough for them,
all of them, all 40 lbs a day. I am also an active volunteer with
the FOF doing trail work cleaning and maintance. I really do feel
that if you all cared so much about your spot, it never should have
looked as disgusting as it did. ( i did visit the sheepfold fri
before the clean up, I managed sixty lbs)
The dogs do displace the animals, but no more so than hikers and
bikers who don't stay on trails (summer 2006 FOFnewsletter article)
it takes alot of work to keep all my dogs in a pack walking on the
fire roads, keeping them from scuffing after they go, not digging
holes, not chewing saplings, not running through the brush too often.
it's hard work all while cleaning every poop I pass carrying a big bag
over my shoulder, But you guys need 10 barrels that you want the
trucks driving all over the grass damaging the conservation land so
you don't have to carry one poop on your walk. It's a carry in carry
out park, don't like it don't go there.
I brought up the runoff damage because the mob seemed dead set on
fencing in the sheepfold I was trying to give you reasons why they
won't, since they weren't giving any reasons... It is the only open
area in the fells, movies on the lawn has been big at botume house the
last few summers maybe they want to move it back over to the sheepfold
like it was years ago, or maybe they want to have a civil war re-
enactment, maybe the kids want to sled or maybe it would be fine if
the dogs were there if the place is clean.

> ...
> read more »- Hide quoted text -


Feb 18, 2007, 7:53:20 PM2/18/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
What I can't believe is all the people who claim to pick up other dogs
poop ! I pick up my dogs and my dogs only, why am I going to pick up
some irresponsible dog owners dogs poop? As far as voluntering to do
poop patrol that just gives more people even more reason to NOT pick
up after there dog because a bunch of "responsible suckers" are going
to do it for them. I'm sorry but I no longer hang around the dog park
hudled in a circle drinking my coffee while fido is off starting a
fight or pooping while the owner ignores it and just keeps on talking
to a fellow owner. Some of the dogs and owners do NOT belong at a dog
park. As a matter of fact just this morning I saw some children
sledding as I was walking down the back trail along the fence with my
dog leashed and witnessed two dogs pooping while the owners didn't
even pick it up. One was a Burnese mountain dog which drop a load the
size of a cow who went right where kids were sledding. If I wasn't
keeping my distance I would have said something but what's the use
when someone else will pick it up for them?


Feb 18, 2007, 8:41:15 PM2/18/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
Wow, Shanlee and Trig's mom

"You have helped so much". Thank you for all the helpful criticism.
It's amazing, all the good idea's you are providing to make the fells
a better place. I guess those of us that are trying, are just wasting
our time because you guys have already done so much. Bravo.....
Bravo.....please keep up the good work. The rest of us will just bow.


trig's mom

Feb 19, 2007, 9:08:46 AM2/19/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
I believe shanlee is saying she dosen't clean up after others...and
she wondering why I would...and the irresponsible dog onwers she's
speaking of constitute alot of the problem there.
These irresponsible onwers seem to be in abundance at the sheepfold
and I admit I don't go there because I won't clean up after the coffee
huddlers anymore, they don't appreciate. The rest of the fells
however has dogonwers who walk together... they stay discreet... they
really appreciate what I clean everyday, And I feel good, doing more
than what my job requirers, MOST people are thankful and say it some
slip me a few bills knowing what the Bags and rubber gloves cost my
small business. It takes me 5 days to make the rounds... 10 spots I
clean a week and they need it desperately, I never get tired of
doing the right thing. I care enough about the fells for them and me
both. I already have the bag in hand and the glove on it doesn't take
much to bend and grab... I think As far as enabling them not to clean
themselves...I like to think that seeing me once a week cleaning so
much from where they walk everyday, makes them realize how much of a
mess, not enabled. Maybe I'm wrong. But I feel good about doing it,
and my Karma has been through the roof the last few years.
Don't get me wrong I'm all for a dog park I don't think the sheepfold
is the place for it. Like he said lobby your cities and towns for
parks and leave the fells to the discreet dogs.


Feb 19, 2007, 3:46:29 PM2/19/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
(*Quote by trigs mom* Don't get me wrong I'm all for a dog park I

don't think the sheepfold
is the place for it. Like he said lobby your cities and towns for
parks and leave the fells to the discreet dogs.)

I totally agree with you trig. I'm not saying you aren't doing a great
thing by picking up other dogs poo but the lack of irresponsibility
that goes there is concerning. I'm just saying that picking up my
"own" dogs poop is enough for me and I wouldn't touch some other dogs
feces when the owner of that dog should be doing it. I mean it is
great you all want to have poop clean up day at the fells but that
doesn't solve the irresponsible peoples problem of not cleaning up
after there dog. It only leaves them reason enough to not pick up if
they know someone else will do it for them. I steer clear of the dog
park anyways. To many untrained ill-mannered dogs and owners too! It
is the lazy way of excercising your dog instead of taking him/her for
an actual walk or hike in the woods in my opinion!

trig's mom

Feb 21, 2007, 7:36:33 AM2/21/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
I'm definitely not saying you aren't doing a great thing by cleaning
just after yourself, it really should be enough, I steer clear of the
fold as well, on the wooded trails elsewhere in the fells I think it's
worth keeping it clean even if it enables.
I think if every person at the sheepfold picked up three or four
frozen old redemption poos on there way out it would stay clean.


Feb 28, 2007, 7:47:23 PM2/28/07
to Fells Dog Owner Group
How about talking to the owner of the pooping dog? I personally have
harassed 3 different huddlers in the past week about their pooping
dog. One apologized and cleaned, two did not have bags and were
appropriately scolded and supplied with bags. If you don't know who
owns the pooping dog, ask around--someone does.

Have a spine and call these jerks on their bad behavior. It's the only
way they will learn.

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